Bernstein returns, Muldowney bids farewell to The Strip at

Oct. 23-26 ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals


It'll be a case of "hello, hello again and goodbye" when the biggest names in professional drag racing converge on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the third annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals Oct. 23-26.

            Hello: Las Vegas firefighter Andy Lewis will make his debut as an NHRA Pro Stock Bike competitor at this event.

            Hello again: Six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein made what was supposed to have been his final Las Vegas appearance here last October.  At season's end, Bernstein handed the reins of the formidable Budweiser King Top Fuel Dragster to son Brandon, and his Forever Red tour concluded.  Brandon was injured in a first-round crash at Englishtown, N.J., in May and Kenny retrieved his mothballed driving uniform to fill his son's vacant seat.  The elder Bernstein will pilot the Bud dragster here in October as his son is not slated to return to racing until 2004.

Goodbye: Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney will make her final Las Vegas appearance at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals.  The first woman to win an NHRA Top Fuel event is conducting a limited-schedule farewell tour and the Las Vegas event will be her next-to-last race before the three-time champion retires in November.  Shirley still holds the top speed and E.T. record at the old Las Vegas Speedway Park dragstrip, which is now the site of the Bullring, LVMS' 3/8-mile paved oval.

The ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals will feature Top Fuel Dragsters, Funny Cars, Pro Stocks, Pro Stock Bikes and Pro Modifieds.  Last October, three points championships were decided at the Las Vegas meet.

The entry list is packed with straight-line superstars, including 12-time NHRA Funny Car titleholder John Force, and defending NHRA champions Larry Dixon (Top Fuel Dragster), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and three-time Pro Stock bike world champion Angelle Savoie.  The most recent Pro category winners at The Strip (April 6 NHRA Nationals) are Larry Dixon (Top Fuel Dragster), Tony Pedregon (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock).  Anderson drives for team owner Ken Black of Las Vegas and currently leads the NHRA Pro Stock points battle with six victories this season.

The ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals again is expected to attract over 800 cars and bikes, second only to the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis.

            The weekend will kick off on Thursday, Oct. 23, with a free autograph session at the ESPN Zone at the New York New York Hotel & Casino.

            LVMS again is offering a $35 reserved seat ticket for Friday's qualifying session.  Tickets for Saturday's qualifying sessions are $50 reserved and $40 unreserved.  Reserved seats for Sunday's eliminations are $60 and general admission seats are $50.  LVMS also is offering reserved, platinum-level seating in the "upper deck" for $45 on Friday, $60 on Saturday and $75 on Sunday.  Four-day weekend tickets ranging from $100 to $299 also are available.

The Club Nitro hospitality area offers VIP amenities and exclusive driver appearances to fans and has been extremely popular with our guests.  Club Nitro sold out in the spring and race fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets for the VIP tent and viewing area early.